Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

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Business leaders from western Massachusetts are on Beacon Hill today for meetings with top Baker administration officials and legislative leaders.

WAMC

Gearing up for an influx of visitors when the MGM casino opens and new trains start to arrive daily at Union Station, officials in Springfield, Massachusetts have unveiled plans for new directional signage. 

The city will install a system of wayfinding signage throughout the downtown to point toward  landmarks, public parks, and cultural attractions with estimated walking times to the destinations. Mayor Domenic Sarno, who announced the plans in the rain Tuesday, said downtown Springfield is a very walkable environment.

401(K) 2012/Flickr

A new poll suggests there is wide support for a so-called “millionaire’s tax” in Massachusetts.

A new poll suggests there is wide support for a so-called “millionaires’ tax” in Massachusetts. Activists are pushing the idea as a way to raise more money for transportation and education.

More than three-quarters of the respondents to a poll that was taken in the greater-Boston area support the idea of a surtax on incomes of $ 1 million or more, so long as the additional revenue is earmarked for transportation and education.

A tornado recovery project in Springfield, Massachusetts has encountered some turbulence over possible property-takings by eminent domain. 

A tornado recover project in Springfield, Massachusetts has encountered some turbulence over possible property-takings by eminent domain.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and leaders of the state’s public education system are touting a new program they say could cut the cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree by $5,000. 

The initiative is called the “Commonwealth Commitment.”  It was developed by faculty and administrators from the state’s community colleges, public universities, and the University of Massachusetts. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Spoke with Monica Perez interim vice president of Academic Affairs at Holyoke Community College.

WAMC

MGM, which is building a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, has purchased the former central administration building of the city’s public schools.

Wikipedia

The Springfield Falcons are about to fly west for good.  The latest departure of a northeast American Hockey League team will leave Massachusetts without an AHL team for the first time since the 1950s.

WAMC

Over a thousand volunteers are expected to pitch in this Saturday in Springfield, Massachusetts to help repair more than 60 homes.  It is part of multi-year effort to restore the housing stock in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the United States.  

The Baker administration announced an initiative Thursday to make public higher education in Massachusetts more affordable. 

Wellspring Cooperative

A plan to build a worker cooperative greenhouse in western Massachusetts has received a boost with the announcement of purchasing commitments from several large institutions.

CareerPoint, a nonprofit based in Holyoke, Massachusetts, is marking its 20th year of helping job seekers and businesses in Hampden County with an anniversary gala tonight. 

WAMC

State and local officials gathered today at the construction site of the MGM casino in Springfield to mark a milestone in the project, the relocation of a 129-year-old church.

Wikipedia

Springfield, Massachusetts, which has been home to an American Hockey League franchise for almost 80 years, may soon be left without a team.

MGMSpringfield

A historic church in Springfield, Massachusetts is being moved down the street to make way for the city’s new casino. 

Weeks after alarming hundreds of seniors in western Massachusetts by discussing possible cuts, the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority is now looking to expand its dial-a-ride service for seniors.

Donkey Hotey/Flickr

The clock is ticking toward the tax deadline. 

WAMC

Hampshire College is getting set to open later this month the first new building constructed on the campus in decades.

The R.W. Kern Center is not an ordinary building. It was constructed using non-toxic materials that were locally sourced whenever possible to reduce the carbon footprint.  The building is designed to supply its own power and water and process waste on-site.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Hampshire College President Jonathan Lash about the so-called “ living building.”

City councilors in Springfield, Massachusetts are calling on the city administration to enforce long-standing requirements that municipal employees live in the city. Councilors raised the specter of lawsuits if the residency law is not enforced.

The third anniversary of the deadly Boston Marathon bombings was observed Friday with subdued remembrances.

Voters in Massachusetts support legalizing marijuana and expanding the number of charter schools in the state, according to a new poll by Western New England University.  Both issues are likely to appear on the November ballot in Massachusetts. 

Picture of marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A bipartisan committee was announced Thursday to oppose a likely ballot question in Massachusetts to legalize marijuana.

Gov. Charle Baker, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, several legislators and health care professionals are part of the anti-marijuana campaign. 

The committee went public the same day a poll from Western New England University showed 57 percent of Massachusetts voters support legalizing marijuana. Polling institute director Tim Vercellotti said just 7 percent are undecided.

WAMC

Massachusetts voters support likely ballot questions to legalize marijuana and increase the number of charter schools, according to a poll by Western New England University.

exterior of the Dunbar Community Center
WAMC

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts is exploring ways to prevent a century-old safe haven for inner-city youth from closing.

For the second time in two years, the legendary Dunbar Community Center is facing foreclosure unless a debt totaling almost $1 million is paid. 

This time, Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said the city will come to the rescue, if several financial and legal obstacles to acquiring the building can be overcome.

A Japanese automobile parts manufacturer will expand a facility in western Massachusetts rather than move jobs to Mexico.

U.S. Tsubaki will spend at least $12 million to increase the size of its manufacturing plant in Chicopee by more than a third, keeping almost 350 people working in the region, and adding 35 new jobs.  Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos, who made the announcement Wednesday, said the company had considered expanding in Tennessee or Mexico.

A new poll by Western New England University finds Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wound trounce potential Republican presidential opponents in Massachusetts voting. 

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with polling institute director and political science professor Tim Vercellotti.

WAMC

A new advocacy group is pushing for more rail service in the Pioneer Valley of western Massachusetts.

The founders of Trains in The Valley will host a public meeting later today in Northampton which will include a website launch.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Trains in The Valley co-founder Ben Hecksher.

WAMC

It has been nearly five years since a powerful tornado tore through western Massachusetts and the city of Springfield is still settling up financially with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The city announced a $13.8 million grant from FEMA Monday as compensation for the destruction of a neighborhood community center during the tornado on June 1, 2011.  The federal agency had initially rejected the city’s $18 million damage claim, but after several appeals – and nudges from Congressman Richard Neal – a settlement was reached.

The Massachusetts legislature has funded a program to provide jobs this summer for hundreds of young people in western Massachusetts. A campaign has been launched to encourage teenagers to take advantage of the opportunity and to call on employers to participate in the program.

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